"Missouri won't reveal where it's getting drug for executions," is by Tony Rizzo of the Kansas City Star. It's via McClatchy DC.
It's no secret that pentobarbital, Missouri's new execution drug, is an effective killer.
Veterinarians use it to euthanize cats and dogs every day, and it has been employed as the sole drug in 30 U.S. executions this year.
What is secret is the name of the compounding pharmacy that will supply pentobarbital as Missouri's lethal injection agent.
That secrecy, along with a growing concern about the unregulated nature of such pharmacies, could propel the state into a protracted legal fight before it can carry out its first execution since early 2011.
A similar situation in Georgia over the summer prompted a stay of execution after a judge found that putting an inmate to death with secretly compounded pentobarbital raised crucial constitutional questions.
"There are a lot of serious problems with all of this," said Deborah Denno, a law professor at Fordham University in New York who has done extensive research on issues surrounding lethal injection across the country.
In an article for the Georgetown Law Journal, Denno said that the "historically dismal safety standards and haphazard daily practices" of some compounding pharmacies "all but invite lethal injection challenges."
Also from Missouri, Associated Press reports, "New execution date set for condemned inmate." It's via the Columbia Daily Tribune.
A Missouri execution postponed last month amid debate over the state's choice of execution drug was rescheduled yesterday for Dec. 11.
The Missouri Supreme Court set the new date for the execution of Allen Nicklasson, who was convicted in the 1994 slaying of a good Samaritan, spokeswoman Beth Riggert said. The execution is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. at the prison in Bonne Terre.
Nicklasson was supposed to be executed Oct. 23, when Missouri planned to use the anesthetic propofol for the first time. The plan drew concerns from the medical community because most of the drug is made in Europe, and the anti-death penalty European Union had threatened to limit export if propofol was used in an execution. As a result, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon stepped in and halted the execution. Days later, the Missouri Department of Corrections announced a switch to pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is a sedative used as an execution drug by 13 other states.
Nicklasson was convicted of killing Excelsior Springs businessman Richard Drummond, who stopped to help when a car used by Nicklasson and two others broke down on Interstate 70 in Callaway County. Another man in the car, Dennis Skillicorn, was executed in 2009.